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Inflation and Price Setting in a Natural Experiment

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  • Jerzy D. Konieczny

    (Wilfrid Laurier University)

  • Andrzej Skrzypacz

    (University of Rochester)

Abstract

We analyze the behaviour of prices using a large disaggregated data set for Poland during transition from a planned to a market economy. The size of price changes and the frequency of adjustment both fall as the inflation rate declines. Price setters follow a mixture of state- and time-contingent policies. We find that price setters are forward-looking. Intermarket price variability increases with inflation and the effect of expected inflation is much stronger than the effect of unexpected inflation. So the bottom line is this: it takes sellers of sausage, eggs, toothpaste, vacuum cleaners, car-wash operators etc. just a few years to figure out how to adjust prices in a market environment. Our results support both the menu cost, and the rational expectations, hypotheses.

Suggested Citation

  • Jerzy D. Konieczny & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2000. "Inflation and Price Setting in a Natural Experiment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1132, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1981. "Money and the Dispersion of Relative Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 328-356, April.
    2. Frederick C. Mills, 1927. "Introduction to "The Behavior of Prices"," NBER Chapters,in: The Behavior of Prices, pages 31-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    4. Domberger, Simon, 1987. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation: A Disaggregated Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 547-566, June.
    5. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1994. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 631-653.
    6. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
    7. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
    8. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    9. Konieczny, Jerzy D. & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2005. "Inflation and price setting in a natural experiment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 621-632, April.
    10. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
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    12. Debelle, Guy & Lamont, Owen, 1997. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation: Evidence from U.S. Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 132-152, February.
    13. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
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